With regard to the evolution of wings. Sometime back in Nature (Lewis,
Nature, 1978, 276, p565) there was a report of a single homeotic
mutation in drosophila which turned the halteres into apparently normal
wings. Does anyone know whether they were completely functional and
has anyone studied their effect on the aerodynamics of flight of the
mutant form. Thus there is potential for very rapid changes in
morphology with rather small genetic changes. I realize that this
mutation is homeotic and it is just inappropriately expressing a fully
evolved structure, but it seems to me that we shouldn't dismiss the
importance of sudden major changes in morphological characteristics.
And not just size but shape etc.
University of Western Australia
Andrewh at uniwa.uwa.edu.au